"Bobalition" etymology

Joel S. Berson Berson at ATT.NET
Sat May 9 16:21:32 UTC 2009

Another broadside (1827) has "Torator in scarlet robe ob lambs wool"
(Melish, _Disowning Slavery_, p. 177).  Thus the formation seems to
be to take a consonant from later in the word and place it at the
initial position before a vowel:  "torator" from "orator";
"bobalition" from "abolition".


At 5/9/2009 08:13 AM, Joel S. Berson wrote:
>On etymology:
>From: Douglas Wilson, Mon, 16 Jun 2008 17:11:54 -0700
>>The word was apparently originally used in a humorous/derogatory
>>manner in an imitation or satire of imagined 'black' dialectal
>>usage, AFAIK (maybe I'm wrong; I don't know much about this). Anyone
>>can speculate as well as I about various possible pejorative or
>>jocular English etyma. There may also be a possibility of a less
>>exciting origin of the initial "b[o]-" (such as "Boston"?).
>Melish sees "bobalition" as originating in the representation of
>black dialect of the late 18th-early 18th century; her discussion of
>dialect begins on p. 169.

The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

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